By Amy Suski
Believe it or not, Nutcracker season is fast approaching. If you're looking for a magical performance that won't break the bank or require a trip into the city, The Gainesville Ballet is an excellent choice. The Gainesville Ballet brings together professional dancers with local student performers in two full-length ballets on Friday, November 28 at 2PM and 7PM. The performances will be at the elegant Merchant Hall opera house at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.
New York City Ballet principal dancers Teresa Reichlen (a Virginia native) and Ask la Cour join the Gainesville Ballet to perform the grand pas de deux. Six other professional dancers will also perform character roles including the Arab Doll, Mouse King, Herr Drosslemeyer, Chinese, Trepak, Spanish, Marzipan, Flower Solo, and the Snow Queen. Children as young as three will perform the remaining roles including Clara, Party Guests, Dolls, Snowflakes, Flowers, Angels, Mice, Soldiers, Gingerbread, Trepak, Arabian, Chinese, Marzipan, and Spanish divertissement.
If you haven't yet visited the Hylton Center, this is the perfect opportunity. The grand cultural arts center is not only a beautiful setting for a special performance but is also very convenient, just off I-66 in Manassas. Tickets are $35 for orchestra seats, with a $5 discount for seniors, active duty military, and children under 12. Balcony seats range from $15 to $25. Parking is free. For more information and tickets visit www.hyltoncenter.org or www.gainesvilleballetcompany.org.
Photo courtesy of The Gainesville Ballet.
By Amy Suski
If you've ever driven I-95 between Washington DC and Richmond and wondered what that strangely shaped triangular building was, wonder no more: its home of the United States Marine Corps Museum and surprisingly good place for a family outing. However, the museum warns that some of its exhibits are graphic and may not be appropriate for young children. Based on the content and activities we saw, older elementary aged-children should be fine but please use your own judgement. If your child can handle fake blood on mannequins and video footage of real battles, there is a lot of history to be learned here.
by Micaela Williamson
Hidden amongst the suburban sprawl of Northern Virginia, the lush wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park is one of the best places for wildlife watching. The 1500-acre nature preserve boasts animals such as beavers, frogs, snakes, ducks, turtles, dragonflies, and over 200 species of birds. With its 1/2 mile boardwalk trail, Huntley Meadows Park is a perfect place for families to get out into nature without tiring little legs. Be sure to climb the observation tower to get a bird's eye view of the beautiful surroundings. For those wanting to walk a little more, there is a two-mile interpretive trail system.
Since each season brings something new to Huntley Meadows, families will want to visit again and again. Please note that "netting" is not allowed in the park and no wildlife should be captured for observation.
After hiking, be sure to stop in the Visitor Center on the way back to the parking lot. The Visitor Center includes interactive exhibits about wetlands, a few small animals, restrooms, a gift shop, auditorium and an information desk with maps and Fairfax County parks literature. Special programs are held in the Visitor Center throughout the year.
Huntley Meadows Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk but please check their website or call ahead for Visitor Center hours.
HUNTLEY MEADOWS PARK
3701 Lockheed Blvd.
Alexandria, Virginia 22003
by Micaela Williamson
To celebrate its 5th birthday, The Nature Generation and trail partners invite the community to the Chapman DeMary Trail Birthday Bash on Saturday, October 25 from noon to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Plus, the annual Painting Purceville Green event will be held at the trail at the same time, offering opportunities for families to meet many “green” organizations and businesses in Northern Virginia.
Family-friendly activities include self guided and expert led nature exploration hikes, making pinecone bird feeders, face painting, live music, food, and more!
“We are thrilled to be able to host nature events on the trail for the community. After 5 years, we’ve turned this this 10 acres of old growth forest into an outdoor classroom that we hope will inspire youth and the community to be active stewards of our environment, both now and in the future,” said Amy Marasco Newton, president and founder of The Nature Generation.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is part of a sustainable education partnership among The Nature Generation, Loudoun Valley High School, The Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Town of Purcellville. The 1-mile trail is located in what is considered to be the last stand of old-growth forest in the Town of Purcellville, and runs along the South Fork Catoctin Creek. Throughout the year, the trail hosts hands-on field trips for students, scouts, and community events. Before the trail officially opened 5 years ago, Loudoun Valley High School teachers and students cleared hundreds of pounds of trash and debris from the area, laid mulch to mark the path, and planted trees.
Moving forward, The Nature Generation will continue its efforts to engage youth and the community in enhancing this area, protecting the habitat, educating about the environment, and encouraging the enjoyment of nature. Come out and enjoy a great time! More information about the event can be found here.
by Claudine Kurp
Fresh from last night's performance of Disney On Ice Presents Frozen, I am here to tell you that this is, in my opinion, the BEST Disney On Ice show that I have ever seen. I have been very fortunate to have seen 7 Disney On Ice performances over the years. The shows were always a special mother/daughter outing and one that called for tiaras and Disney costumes.
My daughter is now 9-years-old and I wasn't quite sure if she would still have the same excitement for this type of show. Was she too old? Well...no worries. Not only did my 9-year-old LOVE the show, but her friend also joined in on the fun. With multicolored Frozen wands waving and bags full of cotton candy, both girls sang and danced the night away. There were moments when the girls were so entranced that I could not even get their attention for a picture. I must admit, I sang every song as well. It was such a fun show!
The costumes were Broadway caliber and the performers did a wonderful job. Thanks to some amazing special effects, a light snow and a winter wonderland enveloped the Patriot Center and created an ethereal canvas for "Let It Go" and the final scene where Anna shows us all the meaning of true love.
As we were leaving the show, my daughter turned to me and said "Mom that was the best Disney On Ice show that we have seen." Indeed! I have listed the dates below. I would highly recommend the show for young and adult!
Every year on the Saturday before Halloween, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum hosts its annual “Air & Scare” Family Day at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Families can enjoy safe, indoor trick-or-treating and spooky activities for all ages at this popular free event.
by Claudine Kurp
If you haven't made it out to this awesome festival in the past, be sure and mark your calendar. Kids Euro Festival is a two week long festival of European arts and culture that presents more than 80 free activities to metro-area families. The festival events include performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic and cinema.
The event is designed for children aged two through twelve and their families. The festival, now in its seventh year, unites the 28 embassies of the European Union (EU) and over 20 American cultural institutions. All of the embassies and organizations work together to transform the capital region into a Europe-inspired action-packed cultural adventure for young people and their families, with no passport required.
By Claudine Kurp
For 42 years Cox Farms has hosted one of the biggest Fall Festivals in the DC Metro area. It is 120 acres of pure family fun! Check out this awesome annual festival that offers up hayrides, pumpkin tosses, kid friendly farm animals, kettle corn, apple cider, live entertainment, slides and a petting zoo. Pick a beautiful day and head to Centreville, VA.
By Amy Suski
Fall is undeniably the most beautiful time of year in Massachusetts. Beauty is around us wherever we go, whether its the walk to school, a drive to the hardware store, or a more deliberate family outing to a local farm. These are just some of my favorite iPhone pics taken in the Massachusetts towns west of Boston (quality of the photos isn't always great, but you'll get the idea). Pictured above is the Assabet River -- a favorite for kayakers and swans. The river flows through the Assabet National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for migratory birds.
by Micaela Williamson
The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg is more than a hotel, it is a home away from home with restaurants, a huge indoor pool, nature trails, golf, spa, nature trails, kids activities and more. Check out their Halloween happenings:
Howl-O-Scream Package: Offered every weekend from Friday, September 12 through Sunday, October 26th. The package starts at $130 per person, per night based on double occupancy, and features daily breakfast, and a free shuttle with two passes to Busch Gardens for its hair-raising Howl-O-Scream event.
Evening Ghost Tours: Offered every Friday at 7 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. by Kingsmill's concierge and historian, these tours of the property's storied grounds feature dozens of spooky tales collected from guests and staff throughout the past many decades
Kingsmill is an AAA Four-Diamond resort and member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide..
Kingsmill is located on the James River off I‐64 between Richmond and Norfolk and within minutes from Williamsburg’s numerous destinations including Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, The College of William & Mary, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center.
I am an official Busch Gardens ambassador and share deals and information. I will be working with the Kingsmill Resort on upcoming reviews and promotions. All opinions are my own.
Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition
Buy New $12.59
About The Blog
Kid Trips' blogs profile fun events and cool family-friendly venues. We focus on regional and national family travel articles.
Blogs Via Email
Links We Love